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Music Student Handbook

General Information and Policies


The Department of Music provides a diverse program of training in music that reflects historical traditions of music, music education, and music ministry leadership.  It seeks to broaden each student's knowledge of musical practice and to challenge all students to develop and utilize their artistic talents in both secular and sacred contexts in ways consistent with their Christian worldview.  Further, the Department of Music prepares students for opportunities to study music at the graduate level in varying areas of specialization and for professional success in vocations in the field and its related fields.

Goals and Objectives

All music students will develop extensive academic knowledge, musical understanding, and performance skills in the following areas:

Aural Skills and Analysis
Students will develop an understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction, and they will be able to employ this understanding in aural and visual analyses. Further, students will have knowledge of musical forms, processes, and structures, and they will be able to use this knowledge in compositional, performance, scholarly, pedagogical, and historical contexts according to the requisites of their specializations. Finally, students will be able to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.

Composition and Improvisation
Through imitation of various musical styles, experiences in original composition, and manipulating the common elements of music in non-traditional ways, students will develop compositional skills. Improvisational skills will be incorporated into students' performance studies and various academic classes.

History and Literature
Upon hearing a piece of music or examining its written score, students will be able to make intellectual observations regarding its genre, period of composition, and possible composer. This will be made possible by the student's understanding of music in the Western tradition, the stylistic characteristics of the music, and their historical context. Further, students will be exposed to a large amount of musical literature during their undergraduate experience, and this will enhance the students' knowledge of standard literature and the aesthetic concepts of each period of music history.

Students, through public performances, will demonstrate a competent level of musical understanding and technical proficiency requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area. In addition, students will demonstrate a functional performance level in a second performance medium. Students will also demonstrate a moderately proficient performance level of keyboard skills. Students will demonstrate their ability to function as valuable members of a variety of ensembles, both large and small, throughout their baccalaureate program. Students will be able to read a musical score at sight with fluency, and they will acquire rehearsal and conducting skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation.

Through laboratory experience, students will demonstrate competence utilizing technology as it related to composition, performance, analysis, teaching and research.

By the end of their undergraduate study, students will be able to work independently on a variety of musical problems by combining their capabilities in performance; aural, verbal, and visual analysis; composition and improvisation; and repertory and history. Students will be able to form and defend value judgments about music. They will have acquired the tools to work with a comprehensive repertory, and they will have an understanding of the basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the musical enterprise.

Music Handbook Topics